Petition in Solidarity with the Solidarity University of Vienna, Austria sign now

Petition in Solidarity with the Solidarity University of Vienna, Austria

The social, ecological, and economic crisis in the current form of society has made a menace of business as usual. Mass unemployment and poverty are increasing, climate change can hardly be stopped, and the growth economy is reaching its limit. As a social institution, the university has supported these developments and it shares responsibility for them. It has failed as an institution of critical reflection because it is financed and supported by a society that has no interest in reflection. It busily interpreted world events while neoliberalism acted on them according to market dogma, leading it into an unprecedented crisis.

This development must be countered by another type of academic practice, one that is not oriented toward competition, economic growth as an end in itself, and training for the labor market, one that is not oriented toward impact points, academic careers, and the pursuit of third-party funding. The objective of the Solidarity University is to create autonomous spaces in order to analyze the embeddedness of the university in capitalist valorization processes, to question societal hierarchies, and to build the foundations of a Solidarity Economy one that turns the immense potential wealth of our global society into real wealth for all and that is not built on the impoverishment and misery of the many; a Solidarity Economy based on our fundamentally mutual foundations, one that cultivates and multiplies them as social wealth.

A Solidarity University cannot establish itself within the framework of the university as it exists. It needs:

* autonomous spaces for critical thinking and the creation of new forms of knowledge;
* autonomous spaces to enable students to be creative and experiment without coercion;
* autonomous spaces to make all interested people into students;
* autonomous spaces to bring different social groups together (wage laborers, men and women who work at home, critical teachers, children, artists, students, researchers, migrants, etc.) and learn from them;
* autonomous spaces in order to be able to change the existing university apparatus;
* autonomous spaces to expand and support a Solidarity Economy based on self-management, democracy, community orientation, and cooperation;
* autonomous spaces for the development of a perspective that eases the coercion to work for the sake of economic growth, competition, and marketing for students and non-students;
* and autonomous spaces for a Solidarity Economy of education.

A Solidarity University is a long-term project to change the university and society. In view of the urgent problems of the global crisis, it must start without any further delay. The Solidarity University in Vienna will revitalize spaces that have been vacant for several years and for which there are no plans for use. It makes its first step out of the crisis here and now.

There are five pillars to its conception:

1. Vital integration and universitas of research, teaching, and practice;
2. Self-management, feminism, anti-racism, and engagement against anti-semitism;
3. A non-commercial character;
4. Independence from the state; and
5. Education for a Solidarity Economy and the creation of a Solidarity Economy of education through research, mediation, and development of self-managed, community-oriented, and cooperative modes of production.

I support the Solidarity University (Kritische und Solidarische Universitдt, or KriSU) of Vienna, Austria and its program of using vacant spaces. I declare my solidarity with the opening of the Solidarity University.

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